Would-be mothers are urged to get the flu jab

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PREGNANT women are being urged to get vaccinated against season flu as soon as possible – no matter what stage of pregnancy.

Figures show around eight per cent of an estimated 20,000 pregnant women in the north east have had the jab so far.

Pregnant women who catch flu are at increased risk of serious complications, putting their baby at risk or premature or still birth.

Dr Tricia Cresswell, deputy medical director at NHS North East, said: “Pregnant women are at increased risk of serious illness if they catch flu.

“In fact, studies have shown that pregnant women with some strains of flue are four times more likely to develop serious illness and four to five times more likely to be admitted to hospital than the general population.

“Pregnant women will do anything to protect their unborn child and I really would urge them to get vaccinated as a matter of priority by speaking to their midwife or GP.

“The flu vaccine is safe for mother and baby and can be given at any stage of pregnancy.”